For many women, pregnancy is one of the most precious times in their life. These women tend to enjoy each month of pregnancy and feel joy and awe as they experience all the changes they see and feel in their bodies. While these women still experience many of the common discomforts that come with pregnancy (nausea, bloating, swelling, etc.), they take each of these symptoms in stride and remain blissfully content as they grow life in their womb. For these saintly women, they love pregnancy so much that they can’t wait to have more babies so that they can experience it again.
Let me be clear. I am not one of these women. I couldn’t stand being pregnant, and I struggled with that guilt for a very long time. But after a while, I realized two things. One: how I felt about being pregnant did not diminish my love for my child. And two: it was perfectly okay that I felt the way I felt. And I was not alone.
Reasons You Might Not Enjoy Pregnancy
For as many women who love being pregnant, there are just as many who do not enjoy being pregnant. At all. And there are many reasons why women dislike pregnancy, including:
Anxiety or Fear
Growing a human that you will be responsible for the rest of your life is a daunting experience. There’s a lot to prepare for, many decisions to make, and a lot of uncertainties. Feeling anxious or fearful about all of these things is normal. But if your anxiety or fear begins to make it hard for you to function in your daily life, call your doctor right away and seek support.
Getting pregnant when you weren’t planning to is an earth-moving event. Suddenly you are thrust into a world of hormones, growing body parts, and preparation for a tiny little being you weren’t planning to have. Maybe not yet. Maybe not ever. Give yourself grace if this is your situation. Seek a counselor or a trusted friend to share your deepest concerns. And let yourself grieve the life you were expecting while you do your best to prepare for the surprise of a lifetime.
Missing All the Off-Limits Stuff
When you’re pregnant, you have to change many things about your lifestyle you may not have had to give up before. Certain activities, alcohol, and certain foods become off-limits . . . and it can really suck. Yes, you will have to sacrifice some things temporarily so your baby has the best growing environment possible. But remember that you will get to do all those things again. And sooner than you think!
Body Image Issues
There is nothing so crazy-making as watching your body take on a life of its own and change before your very eyes. Many women feel very self-conscious about their growing belly, despite knowing it’s growing their precious child. It’s also very concerning to many women that they may never be able to get their pre-baby bodies back. These fears and concerns are completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Do your best to eat healthy and get plenty of exercise and rest during pregnancy. And then try to remember to enjoy the miracle your body is doing all on its own!
Pregnancy hormones can trigger a wide range of emotions that can leave you (and your partner) reeling. One minute you’re laughing like crazy, and the next, you’re sobbing like a loony . . . all at a commercial. It can be a crazy and emotional time, for sure. But be sure to keep tabs on your deep emotional state. Depression during pregnancy is more common than many women realize, so keep tabs on yourself and always seek help if you feel your mood swings are something a little more serious.1
Aches and Pains
It is challenging to enjoy being pregnant when you are constantly feeling sick. While most women will endure some pregnancy symptoms for short periods, some suffer many aches and pains throughout their entire pregnancy. Gas, back pain, nausea, heartburn, swollen feet, constipation, constant peeing . . . the list could go on forever. Remember that these things will eventually go away, but don’t beat yourself up for feeling miserable about it.
Personally, with my pregnancies, I did not enjoy being pregnant because I suffered just about every one of these issues. With my first baby, I was moody and in pain constantly (I have chronic back issues), and I had a lot of fear. With my second baby, I was sick for a very long time and depressed, my back pain rendered me immobile, and I got pregnant with him before I was really ready for a second. I also felt immense guilt for being pregnant when my beloved sister was going through infertility. It was a tough time in my life, and I had a very difficult time enjoying anything about my pregnancies.
In the end, of course, I knew my babies would be worth every hardship I was experiencing. I also had to continually remind myself that I wouldn’t be pregnant forever (it sure felt that way!). And I tried to surround myself with supportive mamas who had experienced the same less-than-enthusiastic experience in their pregnancies. They made me feel safe to express my feelings and gave me hope that I wasn’t a horrible person for feeling that way.
So, if you are a pregnant mama who is just not loving the preggo life—I feel you. You’re doing a great job! And it will all be over soon!